In theory, a single-serve coffee maker that's easy to use, easy to clean, and relatively small is a great resource for a college student. Given the limited funds, time, and space students have, anything that can make their lives more efficient is a true gem. The Keurig Mini Plus Brewing System has some great advantages and can work well for college living, but there are a few minor issues that students should be aware of.

Pros

  • Works fast -- really fast (under 2 minutes)
  • Very easy to clean
  • Wide range of coffee selections to choose from (K-Cups)
  • Wide range of non-coffee selections (like hot chocolate or iced tea) to choose from
  • Can brew hot or cold items
  • Makes single cups so an entire pot of coffee isn't wasted
  • Is relatively quiet with no loud "ready" beep to wake your roommate
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Very simple to operate

Cons

  • Coffee doesn't stay warm like a traditional pot on a hot plate
  • K-Cups can be expensive and environmentally unfriendly
  • Because of small machine size, travel mugs don't fit underneath (even with bottom tray removed)
  • Short cord may present a challenge in residence hall rooms
  • Water measuring system can be a bit difficult to read
  • Machine is expensive when compared to a traditional, basic coffee maker

Description & Guide Review

Overall, this is a great little coffee maker. It brews a nice cup of coffee quickly, quietly, efficiently, and cleanly. It's quiet when in use and, because it's so simple to operate, nearly always ready to go.

Its small size can be a real asset for students struggling with space issues and its consistency can provide some reassurance to students trying to save money on coffee shop drinks without cutting quality.

It should be noted, too, that the taste and quality of coffee was very dependent on the brand of K-Cup purchased. Just like regular coffee, some brands were stronger, more flavorful, and more complex than others. If you feel like you are not getting a good cup of coffee from this machine, it may well be worth your effort to switch the brand of K-Cup that you are using.

Ironically, the same assets that make the Keurig Mini Plus so appealing to college students also present some challenges. Its small size is extremely convenient -- unless, as a rushed student trying to hurry to class, you're unable to fit your travel mug underneath the brewer. True, you can let the coffee drip into one cup and then transfer the drink to your travel mug, but for students who don't have (or want) a lot of stuff in their room, this seems like a needless waste of items.

Additionally, while the single-serve K-Cups are extremely convenient and easy to use, they can also be expensive when compared with traditional coffee grounds. (It should be noted, however, that you can buy a K-Cup reusable filter and fill it with your own coffee.) Additionally, a box of 24 K-Cups takes up much more space than a small can of ground coffee that can be used for the same purpose.

There are some other minor inconveniences, like a short cord -- which, as many students know, can be a major problem in older residence halls that don't have enough outlets. These issues, however, are relatively insignificant and can be worked around.

If you're interested in purchasing a coffee maker that brews high-quality coffee quickly, easily, and without a lot of clean-up, the Keurig Mini Plus is a great choice. It can provide an excellent beverage when you're up late studying or just relaxing on a weekend afternoon. If, however, you are concerned about the cost of the K-Cups and want your coffee to go, this machine might not be the best match for you. While the downsides can be worked around, this coffee maker's fit for your college life greatly depends on your preference and priorities.

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